Maybach Zeppelin gallery: 18 photos >>
Geneva 2009: The new Maybach Zeppelin
The Maybach brand is bringing out the new Maybach Zeppelin to spearhead its luxury saloon model range. The newcomer represents the absolute zenith in the high-end luxury saloon segment. This makes it a worthy successor to the legendary Maybach Zeppelin, which was revered worldwide as the ultimate in high-class automotive engineering in the 1930s. The hallmark features of the new Maybach flagship’s unique sense of style include a stunning paint finish, featuring a shoulderline in a contrasting colour, as well as the exquisite, meticulously crafted materials in the interior, whose long list of optional extras includes a world first – a highly sophisticated perfume atomiser. The new model's performance outclasses the rest of the Maybach range, making it the most powerful Maybach ever. In a nutshell: the Maybach Zeppelin epitomises stylish elegance and vehicle manufacture as no car has ever done before. The new Maybach Zeppelin is being built in a limited edition of 100 worldwide.
A Maybach brochure dating from 1930 clearly sets out the firm’s stall: “To create only the very best from the very best – a car that fulfils every last wish and stands out for its supremely refined elegance and power.” At that time, Karl Maybach had developed a luxury car, the likes of which had never been seen before. Maybach derived the design of its mighty twelve-cylinder drive unit from the same engine he had developed to power the daring airships of aviation pioneer Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin. Inspired by the Count’s visionary personality, he christened Germany’s first ever series-production twelve-cylinder car “Zeppelin”, and offered it to a highly discerning (and solvent) clientele with a displacement of either seven or eight litres (150 hp or 200 hp).
Even today, the name “Zeppelin” has an incomparable ring to it in the realm of high-end luxury cars. As the flagship model in today’s range of Maybach Saloons, the new Maybach Zeppelin does justice to its branding. The name is not merely intended to rekindle memories, after all: as in bygone times, Maybach is once again building the Maybach Zeppelin for distinguished drivers who are seeking something extra special, even in this most luxurious of automotive segments. Not only do the Maybach 57 Zeppelin and Maybach 62 Zeppelin stand out for their exquisite elegance, inventive ideas and phenomenal performance.
Yet greater power for the Maybach Zeppelin
The Maybach 57 S and the long-wheelbase version, the 62 S, serve as the technical basis for the new range-topping model. Supreme performance is assured in both cases by the 6.0-litre V12 biturbo power unit under the bonnet, which has been further refined by Mercedes-AMG and now delivers 471 kW/640 hp (+ 28 hp) and an electronically limited peak torque of 1000 Newton metres. The models’ extra-special status is documented in befitting fashion by a plaque in the engine compartment, which is engraved with the inscription “MAYBACH ZEPPELIN – ONE OF 100”. If the customer so wishes, a reference to their vehicle’s limited nature can be included in the passenger compartment too.
Needless to say that both versions of the Maybach Zeppelin have extraordinary performance capabilities. The decidedly sporty Maybach 57 Zeppelin for owners who enjoy taking the wheel themselves races to 100 km/h from standstill in 4.9 seconds and attains an electronically governed top speed of 275 km/h. The Maybach 62 Zeppelin, which is conceived first and foremost as a chauffeur-driven car, completes the 0 - 100 km/h sprint in 5.1 seconds and has a limited top speed of 250 km/h.
A two-tone exterior identifies the new Maybach flagship
Whatever angle it is viewed from, the new Maybach Zeppelin radiates character and the sort of style which appeals to all the senses. From the outside, the luxury brand’s new top-of-the-range model can be recognised by its two-tone special paint finish which is applied in a long series of steps. The shoulderline is painted right through to the background of the headlamp assemblies in Rocky Mountains light brown, forming a stylish and scintillating contrast to the Taiga black finish used for the rest of the vehicle body while reinforcing the impression of three-dimensionality too. Naturally, customers may also specify any other paint finish of their choice for their Maybach Zeppelin. Dark red tail light units and a fine vertical partition in the tailpipe add striking visual touches at the rear.
The Maybach's newly designed elegant 20-inch wheels in a Chrome Shadow finish complete the picture. These were first painted with a black undercoat, before having a silver topcoat applied using an elaborate painting process that causes the tone to gradually increase in darkness from the outside in.
The streamlined exterior mirrors, which produce even less wind noise, are new to Maybach. They have a more angular design and are separated from the door frame by a slender arm, giving them a more expressive look. They also feature an enlarged mirror surface together with integral indicators in the shape of a horizontal “V” for even greater perceptual safety.
The curving “ZEPPELIN” lettering that appears below the distinctive double “M” emblem on the radiator grille and on the boot lid instantly gives away the elite status of the Maybach Zeppelin.
Finest-quality leather and high-gloss piano lacquer trim
The new Maybach Zeppelin is a car for connoisseurs, as is immediately apparent from its interior. Here, the luxurious leather appointments in California beige leather form a delightful contrast with the exclusive leather in deep Stromboli black that gives added impact to the shoulderline on the inside too – elegantly mirroring the exterior’s colour scheme in the process. At the same time, the lustrous deep black tone of the leather harmonises beautifully with the exquisite piano lacquer finish of the trim elements. The precisely crafted contrasting topstitching in the dashboard and on the doors reinforces the Maybach Zeppelin’s sense of dynamism. The unusual diamond quilting pattern on the seat cushions and backrests together with the black piping gives the opulently styled seats a character all of their own. The occupants’ feet rest on genuine lambskin carpeting.
The limited-edition special models bear a number of discreet identifying markings in the interior too. The centre console in the front, the partition screen that is available as an option for the Maybach Zeppelin 62, plus the silver champagne flutes included as standard are all marked with the lettering “MAYBACH ZEPPELIN”, while the door sill panels as well as the key ring are engraved with the word “ZEPPELIN”.
World first – a system for a fine interior fragrance
Customers are also able to opt for an especially refined equipment detail that is exclusive to the Maybach Zeppelin – an imaginatively designed, extremely high-quality perfume atomiser, the only one of its kind in the world. It easily eclipses all previous efforts to produce something similar, both in terms of its visual appeal and its operation. Its sophisticated technology and premium fragrances create a unique aromatic experience in the Maybach Zeppelin’s interior at the push of a button – stimulating the senses of the occupants not with an overpowering perfume but with a soft, delicate scent.
The system’s core component is an internally illuminated Plexiglass sphere on the rear centre console, into which Maybach Zeppelin owners can insert a vial of their preferred fragrance. Underneath the sphere’s base, which is finished in piano lacquer, there is a dedicated regulator pump. At the push of a button, this compressor draws in pre-purified from the vehicle’s interior and directs it into the Plexiglass sphere in a gentle stream. The airstream passes through four apertures in the top of the vial’s cap, allowing it to carry perfume molecules from the tip of the cap into the vehicle interior. Air which has been suitably purified by the vehicle’s own climate control system also flows out of a ventilation outlet at the bottom of the sphere, thereby helping to distribute the scented air throughout the passenger compartment.
The ingenious control understands the human sense of smell
The perfume atomiser can be activated either from the driver’s seat or by means of a button in the rear centre console, with an additional thumbwheel in the rear for sensitive aroma control. The chosen fragrance gently wafts into the passenger compartment within ten to twelve seconds. On models with a partition screen, only the passengers in the rear are able to activate the atomiser.
The aroma experts took the human sense of smell into consideration when designing the control mechanism. As the nose adjusts to smells in such a way that it no longer perceives them after a short while, the perfume atomiser switches off after about ten minutes to prevent the occupants’ sense of smell from being overwhelmed to the point where they can no longer enjoy the fine aroma. Once the system has switched off, the fragrance quickly evaporates. Thanks to the sophisticated control and the high-quality perfumes used, the fragrance does not seep into either the interior’s materials or the occupants’ clothes.
Reactivating the atomiser later allows the aromatic experience to be enjoyed all over again.
Artistic, hand-blown vials and specially developed fragrances
The system comes supplied with two select fragrances, which have been exclusively developed for the Maybach by a renowned perfumer from global specialist Givaudan: one light and refreshing, the other woodier, richer and heavier, making it an ideal complement to the interior of the Maybach Zeppelin. The foundation for the latter is agar, the most expensive wood in the world, which is burned in the Japanese ‘ko-do’ incense ceremony.
Maybach Zeppelin owners can also use other fragrances, or even have one specially developed and enjoy the luxury of immersing themselves in their very own, personally designed aroma. The fragrance holders are easily interchangeable, allowing owners to quickly switch between two or even three scents to suit their mood, fashion, style or sense of wellbeing, for instance. The specification includes a total of three valuable vials, which are hand-blown by a well-known glass artist.
The elaborate, silent-running perfume atomiser system is a patented Maybach innovation that was developed in-house.
The Maybach 57 Zeppelin costs ˆ406,000, the Maybach 62 Zeppelin has a price tag of ˆ473,200 (German list price, excl. VAT). The perfume atomiser that is exclusive to the Maybach Zeppelin can be ordered for an extra ˆ3950 (German list price, excl. VAT).
The new Maybach Zeppelin goes on sale on 3 March 2009, with the first models due to be delivered to customers in September 2009.
Maybach Zeppelin gallery: 18 photos >>
Text and photos: Maybach